The Personalist Project
Accessed on August 05, 2020 - 1:12:54
I love Simcha Fisher for this post, titled, "A Little Divisiveness, Please."
Her point is not unrelated to the problem of "unprincipled forgiveness." Like those whose call for "unconditional mercy," calls for "unity" and reproaches against "divisiveness" all too often expose an essential unseriousness about truth and right. They are, in practical effect, ways of saying "peace, peace" when there is no peace.
As Simcha puts it, "Some things are worth dividing yourself from." Among them are lies and illusions and cover-ups and conspiracies. Also vanities and immorality and wrong-speaking and wrong-doing of every kind. All of these things are objectively disunifying.
There is only one way for persons to be unified, and that is in truth and good. Untruth disunifies. Evil and wrong disunify—even while they create the appearance of unity. Appearance and reality aren't the same. Think of the apparent strength of the relationships in a cult. They seem so close and warm—including to those in them. But raise a doubt and it all falls apart, doesn't it? The people who were closest to you become your enemies.
Often and often those who call evil evil and untruth false are accused of "causing division." They are urged, even by fellow Christians, to abandon their stand for the sake of "unity." They are called hard-hearted and "unforgiving" and arrogant, because they won't. But this is unjust. A call for truth is, objectively, a call for unity, because truth and good are the only possible grounds for real unity. Everything else is an illusion.
So, here's what I say: If a someone you know to be a serious person (I mean serious about truth and right) says, "This is wrong" and calls for an investigation or a remedy of some kind, it's never okay to reply with words to the effect of "Overlook it, or you'll cause division." Rather, the thing to do is examine the objective merits of his or her claim.